If you were recently injured in a car accident in New Jersey, it will be helpful for you to understand how the state handles car accident claims. In the United States, we have what are called no-fault insurance states and at-fault insurance states. Which type is New Jersey and what does it mean to car accident victims (plaintiffs)?
New Jersey is a No-Fault State
New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state, which means if you’re in a car accident, your auto insurance carrier is responsible for paying certain damages from the accident, regardless of fault. So, the other driver could be clearly at-fault for the accident, but your auto insurance picks up the tab for your medical bills. This is in contrast to at-fault states, where the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the other driver’s damages.
The laws vary in the no-fault states. In New Jersey, drivers must purchase Personal Injury Protection, otherwise known as “PIP,” which covers your medical bills if you’re injured in an accident. “PIP pays if you or other persons covered under your policy are injured in an auto accident. It is sometimes called ‘no-fault’ coverage because it pays your own medical expenses no matter who caused the auto accident,” according to state.nj.us.
PIP is broken down into two parts:
- The first part covers medical treatment received from doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers and medical equipment
- The second part may reimburse you for lost wages or money spent on paying someone to care for your home or family while you were incapacitated.
We recommend purchasing both of the above types of PIP coverage, though you have the option of only purchasing medical treatment coverage. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage kicks in if you cause an accident. This coverage pays for claims made by others who were injured or killed due to your negligence behind the wheel.
Related: Does Car Insurance Follow the Driver?
We hope this post cleared up any questions that you had about New Jersey’s no-fault insurance laws. To file a car accident claim anywhere in New Jersey, contact us today.